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Microsoft explains how Dynamic Updates work on Windows 10

Dynamic Updates play a role when Windows 10 feature updates are installed on a PC; this can be as part of a new installation or an update, e.g. from Windows 10 version 1809 to the May 2019 Update.

Dynamic Updates are supported by previous versions of Windows, including Windows 8.1 or Windows Server 2012.

Dynamic Updates are enabled by default but can be disabled by the user or system administrator. Their main purpose is to download certain components relevant to the update process or system stability during installation.

Without Dynamic Updates, a system’s administrator would have to install certain components, e.g. new cumulative updates or updated drivers, after the initial installation.

Windows 10 Dynamic Updates

dynamic updates windows 10

Dynamic Updates may include the following components according to Microsoft:

  • Setup  — Fixes for files required for Setup.
  • SafeOS  — Fixes for the Safe OS which Microsoft uses to update the recovery environment.
  • Servicing Stack Update (SSU) / Critical  — Address any Servicing Stack Update issues.
  • Latest Cumulative Updates / General Distribution Release — Installs the latest cumulative update for the operating system version.
  • Language Pack / Feature on Demand — To preserve language packs and optional features.
  • Driver — Drivers targeted for Dynamic Update release.

The Dynamic Update step is one of the first that Windows Setup invokes during installation. It involves contacting Microsoft and retrieving updated content that is then applied to the installation media.

Windows 10 Setup reaches out to the HTTPS endpoint, i.e. the Internet-facing URL hosted by Microsoft, fetches the Dynamic Update content, then applies those updates to your OS installation media..

Windows Setup displays a prompt to users, “Get updates, drivers, and optional features” during installation that gives users control over the process. The default and recommended option is to download and if users select that option, Dynamic Updates are used. It is possible to deny that during installation.

Unattended installations supports a setting to disable Dynamic Updates. The default is set to True which means that Dynamic Updates are enabled by default. You may set this to False to disable Dynamic Updates.


Setup.exe supports a command line parameter that defines whether Dynamic Updates are used. Use /DynamicUpdate {enable | disable} to set the feature to on or off. The command setup /auto upgrade /DynamicUpdate disable would disable Dynamic Updates.

Closing words

Dynamic Updates may resolve certain installation or update related issues during setup. The feature is useful as it can resolve update or installation related issues during setup, but it can also lead to issues caused by these updated or extra components.

Now You: How do you install or upgrade Windows?

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